Sunday, April 16, 2017

All work and no play.

"Write by hand. But … begin each day by typing up what you did the day before. That allows you to settle, while admitting a little computer-generated distraction on the way. You don’t have to feel you are punishing yourself. You’re not an ascetic or a saint. You’re a guy doing a job. Across the table from you, your girlfriend is working on a translation. There’s a cheerful tippity-tap. You’re not suffering."

Reading this by Tim Parks today in the Guardian. He talks about writing as a performance, but, most interestingly he suggests that the artists can try different roles or characters. I mean, see his activity in different ways. A saint or suffering ascetic, a guy just doing his job, whatever works. "Works" here meaning whatever allows you to take the handbrake off and produce something.
This is interesting because it makes me think I can look at my 'role'. Who am I being? the suffering, romantic artist; the chilled-out, whistling amateur painter; the invisible outsider artist? It matters because it effects how the work turns out, but more importantly how pleasurable the experience of painting is.

While thinking about this I'm also keeping in mind Adam Phillips comment about the difference between a critical faculty and a faculty of appreciation.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Paul Nash

Went to see the Paul Nash exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre today. The piece that really stood out for me was this early pen and wash picture. Never seen it before, but it's amazing!
I love;

  1. The image
  2. The weird and wonderfully wonky way that the figures are drawn.
  3. The weird wonky s shape made by the winged figure and the standing figure.
  4. The way that the two figures are joined by their heads!
  5. The amazingly detailed and invented landscape, much smaller in scale than the figures. Are they gods? Giants? Or is it just dream logic?
  6. The inventedness of it all. It feels like it was just made up. No reference to real trees or people.
  7. The line made by the pen; so thin and a bit scratchy. Like an etching.
  8. The preciousness of it. the feeling that Paul Nash was totally involved in this little world. You could move around it in your head!

work in progress 3 - and initial sketch

This is the initial sketch that got me excited about this image. I'd like to go back and produce something that had more of those qualities of the first thumb nail drawing. Especially the gothic, Goya-like quality that I wanted. I got more interested in turning it into a sort-of male annunciation. Or, annunciation with gender roles swapped.

Friday, April 14, 2017

work in progress 2

Thinking about what Adam Philips says about the super-ego and self-criticism (and also the way he talks about his own relaxed, pleasurable writing process), I've determined to be easier on myself while working. To enjoy it more. To deal with those, "Aaaaargggh! It's rubbish, I'm rubbish! It's all hopeless!" moments with a more relaxed, curious, "Hmmm, what do we have here? This could be interesting.." type of approach. Adam Phillips says that we're least interesting when we're being self-critical and this made me think that self-criticism is simply a bad from of criticism. Better to think of criticism as a conversation. A call-and-response thing. I paint this bit of sky this way, what is that doing? What's my response? Do I have a response? Do I need a response? What about this bit of hair? Could I try this? How am I responding to that? Does this sound a bit mad? I'm not describing it well. (Arrrgh, it's the super-ego!)

work in progress

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Adjusting his arm - work in progress.